Minnesota Department of Public Safety Cracks Down on Holiday Drunk Driving

The colder season is filled with holiday festivities. It is tradition for Minnesotans to partake in the merriment of Thanksgiving get-togethers, Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The holidays are a time to reunite with old friends and family. However, along with many of these festivities comes the spirit of overindulgence: plenty of gifts, an assortment of rich foods and, in many instances, one too many alcoholic beverages.

In the month of December 2012, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety reported that approximately 1,300 people had been arrested for driving while intoxicated .

This was no surprise, as law enforcement has been working vigorously — especially during the holiday season — to prevent drunk driving.

The Department of Public Safety has been on a mission, urging Minnesotans to plan a sober ride if they plan to drink. Authorities recommend that individuals arrange a sober driver, walk or use public transportation if consuming alcohol.

The good news is that since 2002, there has been a downward trend of drunk driving incidents on Minnesota roadways. Yet, while drunk driving incidents are down in recent years, officials note that New Year’s Eve is still considered one of the most dangerous nights on Minnesota roads.

According to Channel 5 Eyewitness News, Minnesota State Patrol troopers used patrolling initiatives to arrest 25 people in the state for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve and early New Year’s Day this year. The arrests were made between the hours of 6 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The Importance of Retaining a Criminal Law Attorney

If you are found guilty of drunk driving, you face a misdemeanor punishable with up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 on your first offense. If you test .20 or more, you will be charged with a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a $3,000 fine, even though it is your first offense. These are just some of the consequences associated with a conviction.

The snowy season brings extra patrolling onto Minnesota roads, and you could be caught by authorities. Just because you are arrested, however, does not automatically mean you will be found guilty. For example, if your arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to stop you or probable cause to arrest you, this could compromise the state’s case against you. Similarly, if officers administered a breath test to you and the device was not was not properly calibrated, this error could affect the admission of evidence in your case.
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, you should contact an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney. A lawyer can assess your case and help ensure that your rights have been respected.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.